Monday, April 20, 2009

Just Do It

As I was in the gym today, laboring under a squat bar and trying to figure out what was wrong with my "squattin' form," I had an epiphany. What I've been doing wrong for about two weeks is trying to control my squat, and by being a control freak, had not been letting my body drop low enough to do the exercise correctly.

I finally put the heavy metal stuff down and decided to just see if I needed to stretch to do it right, and BAM! The second I just decided to let go and see how far down I could really go... I did it. My ass hit grass, and I realized I went down lower than I ever thought possible in that moment.

(Here's a link to some awesome "how to squat" videos that led to my revelation:

This got me to thinking--this is a lot like some of the breakthroughs I've had in my writing. I can be such a control freak that I have a hard time letting go and letting myself go ass-to-grass with my story.

My husband is amazing at getting me to let go my white-knuckled grip on "propriety," and helps me get down to the dark places where I need to go for my novel. For example, I was having a hard time writing a fairly violent scene and kept thinking "my grandma is going to read this, my mom is going to read this, the church will hear about this..." and couldn't just let go and write already.

My man sat me down with a notebook and threw down this challenge: Write down the most visceral, awful thing you can think of. No inhibitions. No worries. No grandmas watching.

What I wrote in those few minutes (the words have a tendency to flow when you let up a little), turned out to be awful and yes, totally awesome. I actually have incorporated that exercise as a pivotal part in my novel. It's weird, but in that uninhibited space I did some of my best writing.

So here is my question for you guys:

Do you have any moments where you found yourself truly going Ass-To-Grass in your writing? How did it pay off?

If you haven't, I challenge you here and now. Throw down your hang ups, and GO FOR IT. Whatever you wanted to write but never could, the secret is, you CAN.

The only one stopping you is you.

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